We were all excited when P-Square and M.I got nominated for the BET 2010 International Act of the Year award, but it is almost embarrassing for the music industry outside of the U.S. that BET did not present the award during the event.

The African music industry is huge, generating millions of dollars annually, but yet at an awards show dedicated to black music, any artist based on the continent is lumped into one category of International Artist.

It is almost disrespectfully to have only one category that Sade, Dizzee Rascal, P-Square, Estelle, K’naan and M-I can be recognized for. As successful, important and meaningful that each of these nominees are, why shouldn’t they be nominated for Best Hip-Hop Artist, Best R’n’B Artist, Best Album of the year, (for example), along side the likes of Drake, Beyonce, Lady GaGa, Alicia Keys, Busta Rhymes, Trey Songz? Are they not respected as artists of their own particular genres rather than simply international artists? It is time that African artists, (in particular), start to earn the respect that they deserve on the world stage. Would Jay-Z be nominated for Best International Artist at the MTV Base Africa awards?

UK based rapper, song writer and record producer Dizzee Rascal, who is of Nigerian and Ghanaian descent, won the accolade of Best International Act of the Year. Our congratulations go out to Dizzee who is popular, and respected by many US rappers.

The African music industry is obviously still developing but we hope to be respected at all major global award ceremonies in the near future, as we know it is well deserved. But in the mean time, top African artists also need to support their own award ceremonies.